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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | March 14, 2019


Sources and sinks
For the entire history of our species, humans have lived on a planet capped by a chunk of ice at each pole.
Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade
The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Renewable energy won't make Bitcoin 'green,' but tweaking its mining mechanism might
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is known for its energy footprint. Now, researcher Alex de Vries, from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the Netherlands, suggests that renewable hydropower production cannot supply the large quantities of energy needed to power machinery used to validate Bitcoin transactions.
Researchers reverse the flow of time on IBM's quantum computer
An international team of scientists led by the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory explored the concept of reversing time in a first-of-its-kind experiment, managing to return a computer briefly to the past.
Scientists crack genome of superfood seaweed, ito-mozuku
For the first time, researchers unveil the genome of ito-mozuku (Nemacystus decipiens), the popular Japanese brown seaweed, providing data that could help farmers better grow the health food.
New food guide will save Canadians money but few are following it, study finds
New research surveys Canadians' perception of the new Canada Food Guide and finds it can save households money -- if followed.
A peek into lymph nodes
The vast majority of cancer deaths occur due to the spread of cancer from one organ to another, which can happen either through the blood or the lymphatic system.
Researchers find epigenetic loss that changes how cells obtain energy from cancer
It has been known for decades that cancer cells have an altered metabolism and it is seen in several biochemical pathways and in particular, in the way they get energy for their survival.
Bacteria may help frogs attract mates
The role played by symbiotic microorganisms isolated from the skin of anurans has been discovered by researchers in Brazil.
Wild African ape reactions to novel camera traps
An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects.
Green tea cuts obesity, health risks in mice
Green tea cut obesity and a number of inflammatory biomarkers linked with poor health in a new study.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs guard against brain haemorrhages
The drugs statins, which are used to prevent cardiovascular diseases, also guard against brain haemorrhages.
Researchers use algorithm from Netflix challenge to speed up biological imaging
Researchers have repurposed an algorithm originally developed for Netflix's 2009 movie preference prediction competition to create a method for acquiring classical Raman spectroscopy images of biological tissues at unprecedented speeds.
Artificial intelligence learns to predict elementary particle signals
Scientists from the Higher School of Economics and Yandex have developed a method that accelerates the simulation of processes at the Large Hadron Collider.
Noninvasive ultrasound stimulation of spleen could lead to new treatments for inflammatory arthritis
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with researchers at Medtronic, have shown that noninvasive daily ultrasound stimulation of the spleen in mice with inflammatory arthritis resulted in significantly less joint swelling compared to arthritic mice that were not treated.
Solar-powered moisture harvester collects and cleans water from air
A breakthrough by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin offers new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.
Antiviral therapy improves survival rates for kidney transplant recipients with hepatitis B or C
Prior to the development of antiviral therapy, kidney transplant recipients infected with either hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) experienced poor outcomes.
Bullying evolves with age and proves difficult to escape from
An international team from the Universities of Cordoba, Cambridge and Zurich conducted a study on bullying roles among peers.
New SDSU study examines role of sea urchins on California kelp
California sheephead and spiny lobsters may be helping control sea urchin populations in Southern California kelp forests, where sea otters -- a top urchin predator -- have long been missing, according to a new San Diego State University (SDSU) study published in the journal Ecology.
New method to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from China have proposed a way to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water.
As uniform as cloned soldiers, new spiders were named after the Stormtroopers in Star Wars
Despite being widely distributed across north and central South America, the small family of similarly looking bald-legged spiders had never been confirmed in Colombia.
Scientists use a blender to reveal what's in our smartphones
Scientists at the University of Plymouth blended an entire smartphone to dust before conducting a chemical analysis of the dissolved results to demonstrate why we should all take a keener interest in what is contained within everyday electrical items.
More vitamin D may improve memory but too much may slow reaction time
How much vitamin D can boost memory, learning and decision-making in older adults, and how much is too much?
Scientists left camera traps to record wild apes -- watch what happens
Researchers analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects.
Traffic accidents involving moose are 13 times more likely to result in human death
More than 500 traffic crashes involving moose occur in northern New England each year, and the injuries sustained by a vehicle's occupants -- because of the height and weight of the animal -- can be far more serious and more likely to result in fatalities than collisions with deer, researchers report.
Wolves lead, dogs follow -- And both cooperate with humans
The statement is a bold one, especially as wolves have received a lot of negative attention in recent years.
Sea quark surprise reveals deeper complexity in proton spin puzzle
New data from the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) add detail -- and complexity -- to an intriguing puzzle that scientists have been seeking to solve: how the building blocks that make up a proton contribute to its spin.
Bernese Mars camera CaSSIS returns spectacular images
Three years ago, on March 14 2016, the Bernese Mars camera CaSSIS started its journey to Mars with the 'ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter' spacecraft.
Engineering living 'scaffolds' for building materials
Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a platform that uses living cells as 'scaffolds' for building self-assembled composite materials.
The Lancet Global Health: Maternal deaths following C-section 50 times higher in Africa compared to high-income countries
The maternal mortality rate following a caesarean section (C-section) in Africa may be 50 times higher than that of high-income countries, according to an observational study of more than 3,500 mothers from 22 African countries, published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
SPIT lab leading the effort to analyze hair, expand research on puberty
Puberty is something we all go through and yet there is limited science to explain how it affects our physical and mental health.
Guardians of the synapse: Scientists identify a new role for nerve-supporting cells
Salk researchers have found, for the first time, that a blood-clotting protein can, unexpectedly, degrade nerves--and how nerve-supporting glial cells, including Schwann cells, provide protection.
Expectant mothers can prevent fetal brain problems caused by the flu, study finds
Choline, an essential B vitamin nutrient, can prevent fetal brain developmental problems that often occur after prenatal maternal infections such as colds and influenza (flu).
Research paves the way for next generation of optical tweezers
Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that could pave the way for the next generation of optical tweezers.
From mirror-image biology to enhanced therapeutic proteins
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have succeeded in reconstructing biomolecules in their mirror-image form.
Shorter treatment for Chagas disease could be just as effective, and significantly safer
A two-week treatment course for adult patients with chronic Chagas disease showed, when compared to placebo, similar efficacy and significantly fewer side effects than the standard treatment duration of eight weeks, according to the results of a clinical trial in Bolivia led by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).
What is the association between singing in choir, voice disorders among children?
This study looked at whether singing in a children's choir was associated with developing voice disorders.
Cell therapy could replace need for kidney transplants
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists are working on a promising approach for treatment of chronic kidney disease - regeneration of damaged tissues using therapeutic cells.
Simple directions from parents can guide children's discovery
Whether it's probing a child's understanding of a topic through questions or engaging in hands-on activities alongside them, parents can guide their children to learn in new ways through simple directions, according to a study by psychology researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
Charting 8,000 years of Iberian genomic history
Using ancient DNA recovered from over 270 Iberians representing an unprecedented timespan, researchers including David Reich have pieced together an 8,000-year-long genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula.
Older adults with multiple chronic illnesses
An expert group of geriatricians, cardiologists, and general physicians have identified a set of action steps, based on a previous set of guiding principles from the American Geriatrics Society, to help healthcare providers work with older adults and caregivers to make the best treatment choices possible when addressing multiple chronic conditions.
Machine learning sheds light on the biology of toxin exposure
Harvard Medical School investigators have developed a machine learning approach using high-quality, large-scale animal model data that sheds new light on the biology of the liver and kidneys after toxin exposure.
Outcomes of intervention to improve communication between clinicians, patient with advanced cancer
These studies report on the outcomes of a clinical trial that evaluated a quality-improvement intervention for communication between oncology clinicians and patients with advanced cancer.
Chemical innovation by relatives of the ice cream bean explains tropical biodiversity
The back-and-forth relationship between insects and their food plants may drive tropical biodiversity evolution according to work on Barro Colorado Island's 50 hectare plot in Panama.
Doctor video visits increase access to healthcare but could risk fragmentation
In today's fast-paced digital society, virtual doctor visits are on the rise and offer patients a more convenient way to receive medical care from anywhere.
How a mitochondrial enzyme can trigger cell death
Cytochrome c is a small enzyme that plays an important role in the production of energy by mitochondria.
Social risk factors and readmission penalties
New research shows that US safety net hospitals could benefit substantially from a new model that accounts for social risk factors like poverty and living in a disadvantaged neighborhood in determining how the federal government penalizes hospitals financially for their readmission rates.
Mysterious males: Asexual female nematodes produce males for sperm, not genes
Getting at why nematodes engaged in a unique female-favoring reproduction strategy produce males at all, researchers report that the asexual females produce limited numbers of male offspring to exploit them for their sperm in order to make more males, and in a ratio meaning the resultant sons are more likely to mate with their sisters.
Using 3D models to reduce side effects of radiotherapy
The debilitating side effects of radiotherapy could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a breakthrough by University of South Australia (UniSA) and Harvard University researchers.
Review of the recent advances of 2D nanomaterials in Lit-ion batteries
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from the China University of Petroleum (East China) have summarized the recent advances in application of 2D nanomaterials on the electrode materials of lithium-ion batteries, owing to their compelling electrochemical and mechanical properties that make them good candidates as electrodes in lit-ion batteries for high capacity and long cycle life.
Converting biomass by applying mechanical force
German nanoscientists have succeeded in demonstrating a new reaction mechanism to cleave cellulose efficiently.
Rejection of transplanted organs: Long-awaited structure offers new insights
One third of organ transplants are lost to transplant rejection.
IQ a better predictor of adult economic success than math
IQ in childhood is a better indicator of adult wealth than math for very preterm and very low-weight babies, according to a new study in PLOS ONE.
Novel methods for analyzing neural circuits for innate behaviors in insects
We established a method for activity-dependent visualization of neural circuits in the fruit fly brain.
Unique diversity of the genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula revealed by dual studies
Researchers have analyzed ancient DNA from almost 300 individuals from the Iberian Peninsula, spanning more than 12,000 years, in two studies published today in Current Biology and Science.
New study underscores significant benefit of conversations between clinicians and patients
A new study shows that an innovative communication program developed by Ariadne Labs and tested at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute resulted in more, earlier and better conversations between patients and their oncology clinicians, and led to significant reductions in emotional suffering for patients with advanced cancer.
Oral bacteria in pancreas linked to more aggressive tumours
The presence of oral bacteria in so-called cystic pancreatic tumours is associated with the severity of the tumour, a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Gut reports.
Speed limit on DNA-making sets pace for life's first steps
Fruit flies make for stingy mothers, imparting only a portion of the genetic building blocks their offspring need to survive.
A new chemogenetic toolset
Inching closer to extending the approach to humans, researchers seeking to improve a promising strategy for noninvasively controlling cellular activity have reported the design of engineered ion-channels that can be activated by low doses of the FDA-approved anti-smoking drug varenicline.
Drug could alleviate side effects of chemo for breast cancer patients
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have demonstrated a method of forecasting which breast cancer patients will suffer heart problems from a commonly used chemotherapy drug.
Fingermark imaging for drug detection
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from Zhejiang have uncovered a novel method of using nanocarrier-based biological fluorescent probes for detecting amphetamine and ketamine in latent fingermark, in a bid to combat drug abuse.
Diet-related changes in human bite spread new speech sounds
Contradicting the theory that the range of human sounds has remained fixed throughout human history, a new study reports that sounds such as 'f' and 'v', both common in many modern languages, are a relatively recent development -- one brought about by diet-induced changes in the human bite.
Are we at the limits of measuring water-repellent surfaces
As we develop extremely liquid repellent surfaces, the errors in existing measurement techniques are getting too large
Sea otters' tool use leaves behind distinctive archaeological evidence
An international team of researchers has analyzed the use by sea otters of large, shoreline rocks as 'anvils' to break open shells, as well as the resulting shell middens.
The genetics of regeneration
Led by Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Mansi Srivastava, a team of researchers is shedding new light on how animals perform whole-body regeneration, and uncovered a number of DNA switches that appear to control genes used in the process.
Study: Surgery for herniated discs in neck can be safely performed in outpatient setting
Surgery to remove multiple herniated or degenerated discs in the neck, a procedure known as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), can be safely performed in an outpatient setting in select patients, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City.
Can an antifreeze protein also promote ice formation?
Antifreeze is life's means of surviving in cold winters: Natural antifreeze proteins help fish, insects, plants and even bacteria live through low temperatures that should turn their liquid parts to deadly shards of ice.
Alcohol marketing awareness linked to 'higher risk' drinking among UK teens
Medium to high awareness of alcohol marketing among UK teens is linked to increased consumption and a greater probability of 'higher risk' drinking among current drinkers, finds a large observational study published in the online journal BMJ Open.
Blood diseases cured with bone marrow transplant
Doubling the low amount of total body radiation delivered to patients undergoing bone marrow transplants with donor cells that are only 'half-matched' increased the rate of engraftment from only about 50 percent to nearly 100 percent, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.
Poor pitch singing could be a matter of the tune in your head
Sub-vocalization, the silent, preparatory muscle movements of the face and larynx that result when singers run a song through their heads prior to vocalizing, could be nudging them out of tune, according to University at Buffalo researchers.
CRF research to be presented at ACC.19
Research from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and the CRF Clinical Trials Center will be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session taking place March 16-18, 2019 at the Ernest N.
Research demonstrates how immunotherapy may be effective for fighting TB
New research from the University of Notre Dame suggests that structures released by the infected cells may be used in tandem with antibiotics to boost the body's immune system, helping fight off the disease.
Using Thoreau, scientists measure the impact of climate change on wildflowers
A new study is using observations made by Henry David Thoreau -- 19th-century American naturalist, social reformer, and philosopher -- to explore the effects of climate change on tree leaf-out and, as a result, the emergence of spring wildflowers.
Accelerating advances for HIV-positive Youth in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Lucie Cluver, Professor of Child and Family Social Work in Oxford's Department of Social Policy and Intervention, is the principal investigator and lead author with Mark Orkin, Visiting Professor in the Developmental Pathways to Health Research Unit (DPHRU) in the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, School of Clinical Medicine at Wits University.
Vaccine study confirms sensitivity of cholera test
Recently, the sensitivity of fecal microbiological cultures for detecting cholera has come under question.
Diet-induced changes favor innovation in speech sounds
Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as 'f' in languages all over the world, a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich has shown.
Bristol provides first long-term look at predictors of suicide attempts
Academics at the University of Bristol have taken the first long-term look at potential factors that could lead to suicide attempts in high-risk young people.
Duplicate or mirror?
Seven of the ten most frequent medications contain chiral agents.
Bacteria 'trap' could help slow down antibiotic resistance
Scientists have developed a new and faster test for identifying how single bacteria react to antibiotics, which could help in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Ocean sink for man-made CO2 measured
An international research project led by scientists from ETH Zurich has determined the amount of man-made CO2 emissions taken up by the ocean between 1994 and 2007.
Soft drink companies copy tobacco playbook to lure young users
Tobacco conglomerates that used colors, flavors and marketing techniques to entice children as future smokers transferred these same strategies to sweetened beverages when they bought food and drink companies starting in 1963, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
New approach to stroke treatment could minimize brain damage
A new treatment for a common type of stroke may soon be possible, thanks to a discovery by an international team of researchers led by the University of British Columbia.
Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms
By exposing mice to a unique combination of light and sound, MIT neuroscientists have shown they can improve cognitive and memory impairments similar to those seen in Alzheimer's patients.
The sweet spot: Scientists discover taste center of human brain
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a new method of statistical analysis, researchers have discovered the taste center in the human brain by uncovering which parts of the brain distinguish different types of tastes.
Non-invasive imaging technique valid for identifying small airway disease in lung
Landmark study confirms ability of non-invasive imaging technique to identify early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Jury still out on what confers survival advantage in female trauma patients
Female hormones, particularly estrogen, do not seem to explain why women tend to have higher survival rates than men following severe trauma, an 11-year study using data from 815,843 Swedish patients suggests.
Tracking turtles with telemetry
A new model has been created that can forecast the location of Eastern Pacific leatherback turtles along the coast of Central and South America in an effort to decrease bycatch mortality of this critically endangered and ecologically important species.
IVF birthweights increased over 25 years
A new study led by University of Manchester scientists has revealed that babies born by In Vitro Fertilisation at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester have increased in birthweight by nearly 200g over the past 25 years.
Why fly the coop? With shortage of mates, some birds choose to help others raise offspring
After a five-year experiment, researchers from Florida State University and the Tallahassee-based Tall Timbers Research Station found that when fewer mates were available for brown-headed nuthatches, these small pine-forest birds opted to stay home and help their parents or other adults raise their offspring.
New light shed on link between alcohol marketing and increased consumption in young people
Young people's awareness of alcohol marketing -- and their ownership of alcohol-branded merchandise -- is associated with increased and higher-risk consumption, a landmark study has found.
Buying and selling cattle can link individual farms to thousands of others per purchase
Understanding the complex networks of 'contact chains' between British farms, could help identify potential routes for spread of infections and improve disease control strategies for the cattle industry.
Negative emotions can reduce our capacity to trust
It is no secret that a bad mood can negatively affect how we treat others.
Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth's ice ages, study finds
Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages -- periods during which global temperatures plummeted, producing extensive ice sheets and glaciers that have stretched beyond the polar caps.
NASA catches Tropical Cyclone Idai making landfall in Mozambique
Tropical Cyclone Idai was approaching landfall in Mozambique when NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at the cloud top temperatures to determine the strongest parts of the storm.
Extremist sympathies more likely in white British and UK-born people
White British people are almost twice as likely to hold extremist views as people of Pakistani heritage in England, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London.
Ancient DNA research shines spotlight on Iberia
The University of Huddersfield's Archaeogenetics Research Group joins an international team to conduct the largest-ever study of ancient DNA from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) which suggests that the Iberian male lineages were almost completely replaced between 4,500 and 4,000 years ago by newcomers originating on the Russian steppe.
BU: Central American kidney disease epidemic linked to occupational heat exposure
For two decades, Nicaragua and El Salvador have seen increasing mortality from an unusual form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), also called Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN).
UK failing to provide universal health coverage by charging undocumented migrant kids
By charging undocumented child migrants for healthcare, the UK is failing to provide universal health coverage -- in contravention of the Sustainable Development Goals and its obligations under the UN convention on children's rights -- argue infectious disease and global health experts in an editorial published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Exotic 'second sound' phenomenon observed in pencil lead
At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports.
Tobacco control policies linked to reduced smoking
Increases in tobacco taxes and smoke-free policies in European countries were significantly related with a reduction in smoking among older adults, according to a new Addiction study.
'Tingle' wearable device improves position tracking accuracy utilizing thermal sensors
In a new study published in npj Digital Medicine, a team led by Child Mind Institute researchers report that a wearable tracking device they developed achieves higher accuracy in position tracking using thermal sensors in addition to inertial measurement and proximity sensors.
In this nematode species males are needed for reproduction but not their genes
In the Mesorhabditis belari roundworm, the sole purpose of males is to help females produce clones of themselves.
Narwhals spend at least half time diving for food, can fast for several days after meal
Narwhals -- enigmatic arctic whales known for their sword-like tusk -- spend over half their time diving to find food but are also able to last up to three days without a meal, according to a study by Manh Cuong NgĂ´ and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published in PLOS Computational Biology.
The importance of puberty: A call for better research models
Puberty is much more than just a time of biological overdrive, propelled by sexual maturation.
'Home' is where success -- or failure -- rests: Personal context directly affects CPAP use
A new study of the challenges and burdens faced by CPAP users, conducted by research scientists from the Regenstrief Institute, Richard M.
Early menopause in smokers linked to bladder cancer
Research shows that experiencing menopause before the age of 45 is associated with a higher risk of bladder cancer.
Using an anti-smoking drug to control neurons
A potent chemogenetic system pairs an anti-smoking drug with specially engineered proteins to change neuron activity.
College drinking intervention strategies need a refresh
Peer approval is the best indicator of the tendency for new college students to drink or smoke according to new research from Michigan State University.
No increased risk of complications for joint replacement in ambulatory surgery setting
Researchers conducted a study to compare patient outcomes and costs for in-patient hip and knee replacement surgeries to those performed in an ambulatory surgery center.
A cosmic bat in flight
Hidden in one of the darkest corners of the Orion constellation, this Cosmic Bat is spreading its hazy wings through interstellar space 2,000 light-years away.
Thanking and apologizing: Talk that isn't cheap
A new paper from Carnegie Mellon University researchers introduces a framework, 'Responsibility Exchange Theory,' for understanding why thanking and apologizing, as well as bragging and blaming, matter so much, and presents novel experimental studies that reveal the psychology underlying these communications.
Europe's last hunter-gatherers were more diverse than thought, DNA evidence suggests
The genetic legacy of European hunter-gatherers who lived thousands of years ago is more complex than had been thought, according to new genomic evidence reported in Current Biology on March 14.
When is best time to get flu shot? Analysis compares scenarios
When flu season peaks after mid-winter, tens of thousands of influenza cases and hundreds of deaths can likely be avoided if older adults wait until October to get their flu immunization.
Lightweight metal foams become bone hard and explosion proof after being nanocoated
Strong enough not only for use in impact protection systems in cars, but able to absorb the shock waves produced by a detonation.
Fighting leaf and mandible
Scientists have asked, 'What is the primary driver in tropical forest diversity-competition for resources, or herbivore pests?' For the first time, University of Utah biologists compared the two mechanisms in a single study.
ANU research set to shake up space missions
A new study from the Australian National University has found a number of 2D materials can not only withstand being sent into space, but potentially thrive in the harsh conditions.
Scientists track patterns of island growth in crystals
In a new study from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have found that the seemingly random arrangement of islands that form to begin new layers during crystal growth can actually be very similar from layer to layer.
Uncovering uncultivated microbes in the human gut
A human's health is shaped both by environmental factors and the body's interactions with the microbiome, particularly in the gut.

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